Resort founder Vern Sprock dreamed of living in the mountains and operating a resort. He settled near Echo Summit in the El Dorado National Forest and in 1946 bought into a “little ski area” along U.S. Route 50. In 1955, while visiting the upper ridges of his 80 acres one day, he saw great possibility in a nearby 8,852-foot peak covered with wind-stopping pine and fir. CalTrans was looking to widen U.S. Route 50 right where the Ranch, as it was known, was then located. He bought the land at the new site, the Forest Service gave its approval, and Sprock opened the Sierra Ski Ranch at its current location Christmas Day of 1968, coincidentally during a winter of record-breaking snow. In spite of ongoing obstacles, the resort succeeded beyond its expectations, and by 1977 the Ranch was hosting more than 300,000 snowriders annually. Trimont Corporation bought the area in 1993 after the Forest Service denied Sprock the necessary permits to allow expansion, and the area was renamed Sierra-at-Tahoe. Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Incorporated, owners of Northstar-at-Tahoe, Bear Mountain in Southern California, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington, and Loon Mountain, Waterville Valley, and Cranmore in New Hampshire, purchased the resort in 1996 and continues the tradition begun by Sprock of providing a great value on legendary terrain. One of the reasons Sierra-at-Tahoe is the hands-down local’s favorite is the unique way the bowl is weather-protected. Little is above treeline, and you’ll find some of the best wind-free rides through endless glades here. The mountain is strewn with huge boulders, and when they’re covered with snow they become launching pads and 10-foot-high moguls. Operating as a mid-sized, day-use resort, there’s plenty of mountain for everyone, and its 20-minute drive from the Tahoe mainstream keeps the crowd numbers low and the condition of the snow high. This eTrail contains a thorough description of the resort including driving directions, mountain statistics, trail profiles, extensive lodging & dining information, travel tips, and much more.
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